James Haddock, an important disabilities and human rights activist, passed away on Thursday, March 31 as the result of a fall at his home in Dublin, NH. The son of Doris “Granny D” Haddock, Haddock is particularly noted for his efforts on behalf of people with disabilities in the state of New Hampshire. A memorial service was held on Sunday, April 10th at 2:00 p.m. at the Dublin Community Church.

Haddock’s work teaching children classified as “retarded” back in the 1960s led to his lifelong commitment to the rights of people with developmental disabilities. He was a leading force in the 1979 class-action lawsuit filed against the State of NH which led to the closing of the Laconia State School. His son believes his father felt this was his life’s crowning achievement.

Haddock was a founder of New Hope-New Horizons, back when it was housed in the basement of a church in Keene. Among other causes he championed were campaign finance reform, and the blocking of an east-west highway across southern New Hampshire. He and his wife founded Cobb Meadow School. The effects of his advocacy will be felt for many years to come.